Headteacher of special measures Norfolk school retires unexpectedly
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The headteacher of a Norfolk school in special measures has unexpectedly retired.
Denise Jackson has stepped down as headteacher of Moorlands Primary School in Belton, near Gorleston - but the reason why has not been revealed.
Following a bad Ofsted report in October, Norfolk County Council was given powers to replace the school's governors with an interim executive board to try and get it back on track.
A county council spokesman said: 'Mrs Jackson has been at the school since September 2008 but the school has been placed in special measures since October 2012.
'We would like to thank her for the leadership she brought to the school since her appointment and we wish her well for the future.
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'Interim leadership will be provided by Martin Scott, headteacher of Peterhouse Primary School, Gorleston, assisted by members of his leadership team, while we look to make a permanent appointment to the role.'
Mr Scott said he has now been asked to step down from the interim board and take over at the school until the end of the school year in July.
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Peterhouse Primary was taken out of special measures in its last Ofsted report in the summer of 2011 and now Mr Scott will attempt to lead Moorlands to a similar recovery.
He said: 'My goal is to work with the school's staff and try to repeat the magic we've worked at Peterhouse.
'Managing our time between two schools is quite a difficult prospect and Peterhouse will always have to have my focus.'
Mr Scott's deputies at Peterhouse, Mairi Simpson and Jo Johnson, will be in place at Moorlands when Mr Scott cannot be.
He is not worried about overseeing two schools however, as he has previously worked in Thailand and been responsible for around 2,000 children at three schools - with Moorlands having over 300 pupils and Peterhouse around 250 pupils.
'Moorlands is getting a very good package,' Mr Scott continued. 'I know it's a different catchment area to Peterhouse and has different problems as a school, however we have been very successful.
'We will be taking on the things we did and trying to replicate them over at Moorlands.
'We will try to bring a fresh focus which is really orientated between teaching and learning, so a real focus on learning in classrooms, helping support teacher development and making it so children actually enjoy school and find it challenging as well.'
The school was placed in special measures after an Ofsted inspection in mid-October downgraded the school's overall rating from satisfactory to inadequate.
The inspectors rated leadership and management, quality of teaching and the achievement of pupils all as inadequate, with the school's governors and teachers criticised.
The report stated: 'The capacity for bringing about necessary improvements at a rapid rate is weak. Not enough has been done to tackle weaknesses in teaching.
'The headteacher cannot do this on her own, especially as she is teaching for over half the week. There is no deputy headteacher and almost all the senior leaders are new to their roles.'
However Mrs Jackson wrote to parents recently to tell them about signs of improvement found in an Ofsted monitoring visit in early February, saying: 'We are confident that with the changes we are making our children will make more than expected progress with their learning.'
This means Mr Scott is hoping to make 'a significant amount' of progress before the school breaks up for the summer holidays.
He added: 'I think the school has already started to show green shoots of recovery. There is a lot of goodwill inside the school to make improvements.
'I also want to work closely with the parents and want to know what their expectations are for their childrens' education.'